Liberal Conspiracy: DWP quietly ditches stats on deaths of benefits recipients

The DWP has quietly decided to ditch statistics it used to collect on the number of deaths of recipients of incapacity benefits (now ESA) and its predecessors Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA).

It is thought the numbers of deaths has sharply increased since the Coalition government’s severe cuts to social security benefits.

But to ensure that deaths aren’t cited as evidence of failure of the changes, the DWP won’t be collecting and updating its statistics.

Blogger Samuel Miller, who is the former editor and publisher of Disabled Writers’ Quarterly, wrote to IDS a few months ago:

Dear Mr. Smith,

On November 6, 2012 I wrote to your department regarding the number of Incapacity Benefit claimants who had died that year. I pointed out that “Incapacity Benefits: Death of Recipients (9 July 2012)” http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2012/incap_decd_recips_0712.pdf was outdated, as it only provided mortality statistics up to November 2011.

Ten days later, I received the following response from Mr. Goff Daft, who is the head of your correspondence team: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1J2tNRtgghJAcjnmV-6dDClFLcP0-PbvB2HYAd3zh_TLyYDecfDloaq8N6lsU/edit?usp=sharing

On April 20, 2013 I queried Mr. David Green (ESA Analysis), the compiler of “Incapacity Benefits: Death of Recipients”, about the release date for the next report. And I also queried you on June 18, 2013 regarding the same.

He then got this reply:

Dear Mr Miller,

Thank you for your email and apologies for the delay in responding.

The publication you refer to was released on Department’s website as an ad-hoc statistical analysis publication. As such there is no intention of releasing an updated version of these statistics.

Regards,
DWP ESA Analysis

Mr Miller now intends to file a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office over DWP transparency. More on the story at his blog.

The last updated document from the DWP on these deaths is here.

via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/07/11/dwp-quietly-ditches-stats-on-deaths-of-benefits-recipients/

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